Black girl with braids, wearing headphones, carrying notebook, looking at phone

The Top College and Career Prep Resources for Students

Looking for a comprehensive list of resources to get you from college admission to career? Well, we've got it for you with the help of a real professional college admission counselor.

Planning for college and your future career is a very daunting task for most high school students and their families. Fortunately, there are countless resources on the internet that can aid students throughout the process. However, there are so many resources available that selecting the best ones could also be a stressful task. Here are some of the best career and college planning resources I’ve encouraged my students to use and recommend to any other student looking for assistance.

College search resources

The best way to begin your search is to research some college choices through websites or printed guides. While conducting your search, ask a lot of questions of admission and financial aid representatives and school or private college counselors to help guide you. You can check out overall academic statistics by researching the Common Data Sets, which cover admission data, financial stats, and more; these should be posted on college websites. Some outstanding resources for researching colleges in addition to a school’s official website include:

Related: Your College Search Timeline

Test prep resources

In the college search process, most students also need to prepare to take the SAT or ACT. By researching college requirements, you should check to see if standardized tests are required for admission—especially with so many schools going test-optional. Never take standardized tests without serious preparation. Websites such as and provide testing information, sample questions, and practice tests for the ACT and SAT. Khan Academy also provides practice for the SAT and many other subjects through their app and website. Then there are websites like Method Test Prep, which provides various tutoring opportunities for testing. Additionally, The Princeton Review and Applerouth’s Tutoring Services both do a phenomenal job helping prepare students for standardized testing. Finally, check out for the latest updates on schools that are test-optional or test-blind for the upcoming application season.

College essay resources

An awesome way to learn about writing college essays is through the College Essay Guy (Ethan Sawyer) on his website. The College Essay Guy also has two fabulous books, College Admissions Essentials and College Essay Essentials; both can be found at on Amazon. He walks you through the most important factors of your college essay and how to craft one. Another great resource is All College Application Essays; this website and app provide the latest admission essay requirements for over 1,000 colleges all in one convenient place.

Related: College Application Essays: Our Best Advice

Extracurricular resources

Colleges seek well-rounded students who will make meaningful contributions to campus; that’s why most schools require students to list extracurricular activities on their applications and include them on a résumé. Extracurricular activities help high school students develop their talents, interests, and even future careers. They can teach students practical skills including responsibility, commitment, and time management. Extracurricular activities also include summer experiences and community service. Some ideas for summer include college classes, performing or visual arts programs, career camps, private music lessons, and SAT or ACT preparation courses; check out TeenLife for additional opportunities and ideas. Students are also encouraged to go above and beyond their high school community service requirements for graduation to show colleges they’re dedicated and committed to giving back to society. VolunteerCrowd has a lot of innovative ideas to make a difference.

Financial aid resources

When researching colleges, students and their families must consider cost. But just because a school’s sticker price may seem out of reach doesn’t mean you should remove it from your college list. Financial aid and scholarships are available from many sources to help fund your post-secondary education. Some of the best websites for financial aid and scholarships are:

Career search resources

You can explore possible career pathways early in your college search by utilizing career interest inventories. A few websites to investigate include BigFuture as well as O*NET OnLine. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also offers outstanding and up-to-date information on careers. If you’re already prepared for your postgrad career, you’ll definitely be ready for college.

Related: The Importance of Career Prep: How to Plan for Your Dream Job

This is just a small sampling of the career and college planning resources that are available to students and families. When you have college- and career-related questions, contact school counselors, educational mentors, college admission counselors, and even college professors in your major area of interest. They’ll help you get the answers you need to accomplish your future college and career goals!

Find answers to all your college admission questions right here on CollegeXpress with the advice in our Ask the Experts section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

career prep college admission college essays college search paying for college test prep

About Jennifer Severini-Kresock

After 20+ years as a high school guidance director/counselor in the public school system, Jennifer Severini-Kresock recognized the growing need for individualized college preparatory services.  In 2012, she founded and became the lead counselor of NEPA Career and College Counseling Associates, bringing her passion for helping mold ideal college candidates.

Jennifer received a BS in Clinical Psychology, graduating cum laude, and a Master of Science degree in Secondary Counselor Education from Marywood University. She’s spent countless hours engaging in professional development activities, including conferences, college visits, and web-based learning opportunities. She has also lectured at the university level and has been cited for her professional excellence by several organizations in the industry.

NEPA Career and College Counseling Associates is available to help students find their ideal career and college major. Services include aiding in the college admission process and advising students on college admission testing, résumés, essays, financial aid, and scholarships. In-person and Zoom appointments are available. Contact Jennifer Severini-Kresock at 570-702-5700 or for more information on her career and college preparation services. 


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Jeff Parsons

Jeff Parsons


Thank you so much for this valuable information about these opportunities. I truly appreciate the CollegeXpress communications and use them to keep my high school seniors informed about their opportunities!

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.



High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress helped open me up to many colleges that fit my interests. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so I like having a lot to look at, and CX does a great job of picking colleges that meet my wants. It's a great website that I'll continue to use until it comes time for me to apply for colleges. I also like that it notifies me through email with options to look at. Thanks CX!

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

College Matches